This year the weeks seem to be disappearing before I even realise they are here. It only seems like yesterday that I was returning home from my last climbing trip to begin training again for the world cups. And now after 12 weeks of hard training I am in Spain, filled with excitement about climbing on some rocks but also confused as to how the past few months passed so quickly.
The 15th of March brought round the infamous event that takes over the Sheffield climbing scene. People from all over descend upon The Climbing Works to compete and watch the biggest, most impressive climbing event in the UK. Yes CWIF.
For me CWIF is a marker. It is a significant event in my calendar. Not only is it the first international event of the year, it is also a reminder that the World Cups are just around the corner, that training should be in full swing and preparation well under way. It is almost like having your school project assessed when you are only half way through it. You get to learn how much work you have to do, where the tweaks need to be made and most importantly if you are on the right track.
In the past I have had my own little secret countdown to CWIF. Through both excitement and nerves I have awaited the event in anticipation but this year it seemed to just arrive without warning. I had been wrapped up in my own little bubble of training, sleeping and eating (and baking of course). With interviews, filming and meetings filling my time off the wall I had little energy and little space in my mind to realise what was going on.
In the weeks leading up to the competition my coach was away on holiday. Over 2 weeks of no contact. I hadn’t really appreciated how strange and difficult this was going to be. Suddenly I had no one to call to check the training I was doing was correct, to ask what to do if it felt too easy or too hard or to ask what to do on days when I felt tired or what to do when life got in the way of training. I think this is partly why the CWIF weekend crept up out of nowhere. I had everything stuck in my head that I would normally waffle down the phone to Mark. I speak to Mark nearly every day and on the days I don’t speak to him it’s because we have discussed what I am doing already. His commitment and patience is incomparable to anyone else I know. However, it was refreshing to stand on my own two feet. Take control of my training and organise my life. After all I can’t afford to take him with me to all of the world cups. So its best to get the withdrawal out of the way now.
The 7th Climbing Works International Festival was the incredible success it has become so renowned to be. The boulder problems were some of the best competition problems I have ever climbed on. The atmosphere was better than ever before: not forgetting the typically sarcastic British commentary adding the humorous flair. I am so happy to have my 3rd CWIF title. I am really pleased with where my climbing is at and I’m excited about making the tweaks needed before the season begins (when the school project is finally complete).
Right now though I am in Albarracin. Climbing, resting, recovering, and having fun. I will be sure to update you on this place soon 🙂